Finnish scientists have found some vital clues that may prompt new approaches for prediction and prevention of type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, in children.
They discovered disturbances in lipid and amino acid metabolism in children who later progressed to juvenile diabetes. The alterations preceded the autoimmune response by months to years.
Currently, the earliest identifiable process in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes has been the development of autoimmunity to pancreatic beta cells in the measurable form of islet autoantibodies.
Although the autoimmunity usually precedes the clinical disease by months to years, its occurrence may already be too late for therapeutic approaches aimed at preventing progression to overt diabetes.
The results of the present study bring significant new information for combating the disease.
During the study, the researchers systematically studied the chemical fingerprints in cells, tissues and biofluids in a given physiological and environmental context.
Metabolic profiling at early age may therefore aid in determining the risk of type 1 diabetes. The reported findings imply that metabolic or immunomodulatory interventions during the pre-autoimmune period may be used as a new potential strategy for prevention of type 1 diabetes.
The study is published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.